What emotions do the colors represent?

Written by melissa chichester
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What emotions do the colors represent?
Humans respond to colour based on emotion and social conditioning. (Yagi Studio/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In many cultures, colour symbolism offers a deeper look at how people respond to life changing events. Meanings vary between countries and time periods. These associations of colour are reflections of emotion, both natural and psychological. In the United States, colours are used in social rituals, as well as popular advertising campaigns.

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Blue is a very positive colour in the United States, often slated as a countrywide favourite. Blue implies nature, harmony and calmness. It is also universal, being the colour of water and the sky and a symbol of fertility. At the same time, blue is the least popular colour of food, because it is seen as unnatural. Overall, blue is associated with positive emotions.


Red is a fire colour. Americans view red as the meaning of stop, passion and energy. Red is also the colour of romance, especially when it comes to red roses. It is also heavily symbolic when referenced as the colour of blood, equating doom and death, and making red popular with positive and negative emotions.


White carries many positive reflections in Western culture, as it is the colour of purity and all things sacred. White is associated with weddings, with a white dress symbolising the virginity and pureness of the bride. White is also a significant colour of angels, good health and cleanliness. White is a colour of happiness and positivity.


Black carries heavy colour symbolism and conjures up many emotions. Some view black as scary and evil, causing fright and fear to pop up. Black cats are seen as bad luck, and black is a funeral colour. Black is associated with sadness, mourning and as unlucky.


The colour green is another positive emotion colour, as it is most often associated with the lush foliage of the Earth; but, it does represent some negative emotions as well. Green vegetables are thought of as the healthiest, and being healthy gives people a happy state of mind. Green is also the colour of money, however, which symbolises jealousy and greed.

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